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The Amulet of Samarkand (2003)

by Jonathan Stroud

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Bartimaeus Sequence (1)

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8,300248858 (4.03)349
Nathaniel, a magician's apprentice, summons up the djinni Bartimaeus and instructs him to steal the Amulet of Samarkand from the powerful magician Simon Lovelace.
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English (233)  German (8)  French (2)  Dutch (1)  Danish (1)  Vietnamese (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (247)
Showing 1-5 of 233 (next | show all)
I never thought I’d love a djinn, but Bartimaeus won me over! What a great character--funny, snarky, clever, witty, arrogant, sarcastic. He’s a powerful demon at the mercy of a 12-year-old apprentice who only partially knows what he is doing, which is half the fun, of course.

I had less affection for Nathaniel, the apprentice wizard. His one-track personality, which focused strictly on his own desires, made it difficult to care about or cheer for him. Sure he had a bad break in life, getting stuck with a mediocre, cruel, white-haired and bearded wizard with little talent, power, or intelligence, but Nathaniel had an attitude that, aside from his love of Mrs. Underwood, was less than endearing. Only toward the end of the story did I see any redeeming qualities come to the forefront, and by then it was too late.

It is, however, a wonderful world that Jonathan Stroud has placed his characters into. A London with magic. Wizards running the country and doing a pretty poor job of it.

I look forward to the next installment in the series to find out what Bartimaeus is up to.
( )
  DebCushman | Aug 25, 2022 |
Sagan um Verndargripinn frá Samarkand er fyrsta bókin í Bartemeus þríleiknum. Hún segir frá djinnanum Bartimeus sem er 4-5000 ára gamall en verður fyrir því óláni að vera neyddur í þjónustu unglingsins Nathaniels sem hyggur á hefndir eftir að öflugur galdramaður hafði niðurlægt hann.
Heimur þeirra Nathaniels og Bartimeusar er nokkuð líkur nútímanum nema að galdramenn geta neytt verur í sína þjónustu og hafa sum staðar tekið öll völd í sínar hendur. Þannig er því háttað í Bretlandi sem herjar nú á nágrannalönd sín og er orðið öflugasta ríki Evrópu eftir að hafa sigrað Hið Heilaga Rómverska Keisaradæmi.
Stroud skiptir sögunni upp á milli sjónarhorna þeirra Bartimeusar og Nathaniels. Ólíkir persónuleikar þeirra takast á og barátta um völd þeirra á millum. Skemmtilegast fannst mér þó húmorinn í sögunni, sérstaklega kaldhæðni andans sem er kjaftfor hrokagikkur. ( )
  SkuliSael | Apr 28, 2022 |
"Nathaniel gets along tolerably well over the years in the Underwood household until the summer before his eleventh birthday. Everything changes when he is publicly humiliated by the ruthless magician Simon Lovelace and betrayed by his cowardly master who does not defend him.

Nathaniel vows revenge."

Nathaniel is sold to the government by his parents when he is just 5 years old, to be apprenticed to a magician, even if the magician doesn't want an apprentice. Powerful magicians run Britain and apprentices are raised to believe that this is a noble profession, and they should consider themselves lucky to have this chance. And Nathaniel is suitably impressed, but he is much smarter than his master knows, and he begins to experiment on his own without his master's knowledge. When Nathaniel is humiliated by another magician and his master doesn't stand up for him, Nathaniel vows revenge. He summons a very powerful djinn, Bartimaeus, to help him enact this revenge, and let's just say that things don't go quite as planned.

"I am Bartimaeus! I am Sakhr al-Jinni, N'gorso the Mighty, and the Serpent of Silver Plumes! I have rebuilt the walls of Uruk, Karnak, and Prague. I have spoken with Solomon. I have run with the buffalo fathers of the plains. I have watched over Old Zimbabwe till the stones fell and the jackals fed on its people. I am Bartimaeus! I recognize no master. So I charge you in your turn, boy. Who are you to summon me?"

Yeah, Bartimaeus is anything but malleable and willing! But if he wants to be freed eventually, he has to cooperate, and this is where a lot of the humor in this story comes from. Nathaniel is a bit arrogant, but then he's been told since he was 5 that he will one day become a great magician and help run the country, if he's lucky, so you can see where he gets it. The situations that he and Bartimaeus find themselves in are very entertaining, and you start rooting for them even more. The story itself is a fun and easy read, and I'm looking forward to continuing the story in book 2.

In summary, I enjoyed this book very much and highly recommend it.

5/5 stars.

I received a copy of this book free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion. ( )
  jwitt33 | Mar 25, 2022 |
Ive known about this book for a while and finally got around to reading it. It wasn't quite what I was expecting but I really liked it. The worldbuilding is interesting and distinctive the story was both funny and intriguing. The author has a style that I really enjoy and Im excited to read the rest of the series. ( )
  mutantpudding | Dec 26, 2021 |
Nathaniel is a magician who summons the irascible 5,000 year old djinni, Bartimaeus, to do his bidding. Nathaniel has an assignment for Bartimaeus: he must steal the powerful Amulet of Samarkand from Simon Lovelace, a master magician. Before long, the two are caught in a flood of magical intrigue, rebellion, and murder. ( )
  Christian1997 | Dec 7, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 233 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (36 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jonathan Stroudprimary authorall editionscalculated
Grant, MelvynCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Nathaniel, a magician's apprentice, summons up the djinni Bartimaeus and instructs him to steal the Amulet of Samarkand from the powerful magician Simon Lovelace.

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Book description
Nathaniel is a young magician's apprentice, taking his first lessons in the arts of magic. But when a devious hotshot wizard named Simon Lovelace ruthlessly humiliates Nathaniel in front of everyone he knows, Nathaniel decides to kick up his education a few notches and show Lovelace who's boss. With revenge on his mind, he masters one of the toughest spells of all: summoning the all-powerful djinni, Bartimaeus. But summoning Bartimaeus and controlling him are two different things entirely, and when Nathaniel sends the djinni out to steal the powerful Amulet of Samarkand, Nathaniel finds himself caught up in a whirlwind of magical espionage, murder, blackmail, and revolt.
Haiku summary
Wizards rule England
with help of pouting demons.
Man, they're sarcastic.

(Carnophile)
A young magician
and his mischievous djinni
foil conspiracy.
(passion4reading)

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